Have you just graduated? Are you looking for your first engineering position? It can be a difficult and daunting time. Then once you get an interview that’s only just the beginning. Interviews can be an overwhelming prospect particularly if you haven’t had much experience or are a little out of practice. You are also likely to be competing against many other graduates. So what can set you apart From everyone else?
PREPARE, PREPARE, AND PREPARE:
- Do lots of research on the company beforehand – but make sure it’s relevant to the role you applied for!
- You may have done some awesome academic individual/group projects at university. A bullet point summary of what you have acquired and achieved in those projects will help refresh your memory. Last-minute revision on the train before the interview can help prevent a “frozen” mind and prepare you for the interview.
- If the recruiter hasn’t already told you what kind of interview you’ll be having, contact them to find out. Once you’ve established what to expect you’ll be able to prepare for the kinds of questions and scenarios you could experience during the interview.
- Go through the company’s website to learn what the company is doing.
- Know exactly what qualifies you for the position you are applying for and show them this!
DON’T MAKE IT UP!
- Show your personal interest/curiosity on the company’s field/technology.
- Don’t worry about knowing everything – it isn’t expected. But make sure you give honest answers. You may get the job from the sort of person you are and not how much you know.
- Don’t make it up!! Giving random answers to an unknown and challenging question when you pretend to know or simply replying “I don’t know” when you are in panic won’t help you out. You can always ask for clarification (which will buy you some time) and give a thorough and educational guess followed by asking focused questions that may lead to you demonstrating your thinking based on your answer. Problems, in particular those technical ones may be solved by communicating your thought process with the interviewers.
- It’s not always about how much you know but how you approach a problem or answer the question. You need to demonstrate you are enthusiastic and ready to get stuck in and learn.
- Be humble – Think that the interview is just as difficult for the interviewer as well as the interviewee.
And finally ….. Don’t be afraid to ask lots questions during the interview. Are you right for the company and is the company right for you, it works both ways!
Contributions made by Michalis Antoniou, Kunjian Song, Nicolas Blazevic, Ian Kibukamusoke, Matthew Smith, Laura Sherratt and Amy Hillsdon all currently working at CSR